Sunday, December 21, 2014

Fireworks Pizza, Leesburg VA

The calendar was such this year that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day fell on Wednesday and Thursday. I didn't see much sense in being closed Sunday and Monday, our normal dark days, open on Tuesday, closed Wednesday and Thursday, and then open Friday and Saturday. So, we closed on Tuesday as well and had a long 5-day break to get some rest. Ann and I took advantage of that break to just unwind and spend some time together, doing what we wanted, and ticking a few things off our lists. And Fireworks Pizza was on that list. We made the 45-minute drive in to Leesburg to sample Loudoun County's best pizza.

Fireworks Pizza, Leesburg VA
There is no pizza worth eating in Winchester save those I make for myself. It's sad, but true: nobody here values good pizza enough to attract and support a first-rate pizza place. Here, the emphasis is on size and price. The bigger the pizza and the lower the price, the better it will sell. It doesn't matter if the crust resembles wet cardboard. And so the necessity to drive two counties over to try to find a good pie.

Taps: Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA Rocks
I forewarned Ann that Fireworks is a beer place so that she wouldn't get her heart set on wine. They have wine, but what they have is a token; they sell almost exclusively beer. Our bartender, Mike, when he wasn't studying thermodynamics, was staying on top of our drinks. The best of my beers was the Fresh Squeezed IPA from Deschutes, which is one of the best beers I have had in years. Of course, you have to be aligned with my predilection for hops to appreciate this or any of the beers I had at Fireworks. I am a big fan of over-the-top hopped American IPAs. Ann doesn't share my enthusiasm, shall we say.

Barcelona Pizza
We're pretty classic pizza people: that is, it is very hard in our book to top a Margherita, but that only goes for the summer when we have plenty of basil and tomatoes. It being Christmas, we decided to look at other pizzas. Really, only a couple of pizzas struck our fancy, the first being The Barcelona that you see above topped with tapenade, Mahon cheese, chorizo, tomatoes, and roasted red peppers. I would say that we were underwhelmed by this pizza. I couldn't find the chorizo and the roasted red peppers dominated all.

Siciliana Pizza
The second pizza to catch our eye was the vegetarian Siciliana pizza, topped with caponata, grana padano, grilled artichokes, spinach, olives, and roasted garlic, all things that we love. This set of toppings worked much better than those on the Barcelona.

The crust though, not the toppings, is what we are after and this crust was good, better than average, but not amazing. If we lived closer, we would probably eat here a few times a year, but because it is a 45-minute drive for us, I don't think the quality of the pizza is quite high enough to merit the drive.
Uinta's Hop Nosh, Also Delicious

And a Localish Beer, The Great Return, from Hardywood in Richmond

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